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Need advice, New Job, New Geography

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    Need advice, New Job, New Geography

    Hi folks,

    I live it the Midwest and am transitioning from a technical marketing role where I traveled about once every other month to technical sales role with likely 2-4 trips a month. These trips will primarily concentrated in the Gulf Coast. I'll be meeting clients both at industrial plant environments and corporate offices - often in the same day.

    The two challenges I see from a clothing perspective is the heat and the wide formality spectrum I'll be dealing with.

    I have a couple of hopsack jackets and a number of OCBDs that should fit my needs reasonably. I can leave the jacket in the car when going to a less formal work-site and throw it on at a corporate office. I'm having a tough time getting my my mind around trousers though. My natural inclination would be to wear light wool trousers, but my concern is that they will look terribly out of place with steel toe boots and a hard hat. Khakis seem like a good alternative, but I'm concerned about looking like a school boy as I'm already younger that most of my clients.

    Any good suggestions for formality versatile, breathable trousers?

    Is it necessary to wear the steel toe boots when meeting in the plant or otherwise?
    I have seen these Kenneth Cole chinos that could be reasonably versatile

    Dockers has a wide variety of options too


      When I go to industrial sites (power plants) for work, I'm required to wear jeans. Indeed, I bought my first pair of jeans in years because I go to so many power plants. I've never seen anyone in wool trousers as they are out of the safety guidelines.

      Also, don't confuse khakis with chinos. Chino is a twill cotton fabric often used for pants. Khaki is a color, and also a name for chinos in that color. If you want to look more professional, wear tailored chinos in a darker color like navy.

      Finally, oxford cloth is not very breathable and can be uncomfortable in very hot weather. If you're on the Gulf Coast in the summer you might try a shirt with a looser weave.

      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


        Lands End makes good twill dress pants. A step up from school boy khakis.


          I spent 2 years in industrial sales to power plants, foundries and industrial sites in the same geography. Do NOT wear wool pants you will get laughed at pretty quickly. Cotton twill pants i.e. Khakis are fine. I got slip on Chelsea style steel toe boots from red wing and would stop near by and change into them before getting to the site. My outfit was generally cotton sport coat left in car unless meeting with executive level, cotton chinos in khaki, navy, stone or olive green, and button downs in basic ginghams, or solid colors.


            What about moleskin? I haven't worn it, but I have read it is pretty tough, but is used in some business wear.